The Angry Birds Movie (2016)
I have to own up. I was really looking forward to seeing The Angry Birds Movie, directed by Clay Kaytis and Feral Reilly and written by Jon Vitti – an admission which will probably damage any credibility I have as a serious film critic. A film based around the premise of the phenomenally successful computer game, will most likely appeal in the main to a younger audience. But hold on. Isn’t Angry Birds the game which is (secretly) just as, if not more, popular amongst adults as well? Surely then the film based on it should have some degree of appeal to older audiences? You would think so ……..
Red (Jason Sudeikis), Chuck (Josh Gad) and Bomb (Danny McBride) are three very angry birds. All the unhatched eggs which belong to the residents of their island home, have been stolen by a band of evil pigs, who plan to make them the main ingredients for a gourmet extravaganza. So it’s up to the three friends to lead their community in a daring rescue mission to save the next generation of their homeland, with predictably hilarious results.
Unfortunately The Angry Birds Movie – though with top class animation, engaging (for the most part) characters and jokes which, though not exactly original, do to a degree amuse – begins to loose its appeal after the first thirty minutes or so. The truth is, like the game, this film really amounts to little more than a one trick pony: from the start you can see exactly where it is going, and the result lives up to these expectations. Probably because the game is so well known, to introduce anything more to the mix would have destroyed what little appeal it had. So the ninety odd minute running time is taken up with some varying species of birds who are all, for one reason or another, angry, banding together to rescue their towns unhatched eggs which have been stolen by a band of unscrupulous and tyrannical porkers who plan to make an enormous omelette from them. And that, in truth, is it.
This rather limited storyline – which may have made for a fun thirty minute cartoon, but feels over egged for a full-length animated feature – allows for some aspects which seem to jar in a film aimed at children. There is an almost unhealthy obsession amongst the feathered characters with the hatching of the eggs and all things related to having babies in varying degrees of detail, whilst the character of a mythical eagle (Peter Dinklage) who the three heroes set out to find and get help from, allows for a particularly off colour joke relating to relieving yourself first thing in the morning. Kids may think this funny, but anyone in double figures will likely find it more cringe than laugh inducing.
On it’s plus side The Angry Birds Movie is beautifully imagined and the working of the well-known birds from the game – each with their individual characteristics – into the storyline is cleverly, and for the most part, seamlessly done. However, though the film might well appeal to younger audiences, it will likely leave everyone else more angry than amused.
Directors: Clay Kaytis, Feral Reilly
Writer: Jon Vitti
Stars: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Peter Dinklage
Runtime: 97 minutes
Country: Finland / USA